We went beach camping over the weekend.
Our pillows still smell like the campfire even though I washed the cases. And I don't really mind, because I think about all the simple fun we had and it makes me happy.
It was just what I needed.
I am grateful for time away to make more memories with my family and my friends. Even if it is time away just 40 minutes from home, in lots of dirt and sand, and loads of dirty laundry when we get home.
It is totally worth it.
We camped at Doheny State Beach. Getting a summer time campsite at a Southern California beach is a nearly impossible feat. It took about 10 of us, trying to reserve on line and over the phone, at 8 am sharp, 7 months exactly, before we wanted to camp. Some of still could not make reservations, but we shared campsites, so it was OK.
I wish I knew a secret to share about scoring a campsite, but planning well in advance is the only way I know. If you have a secret, do share.
If you go to Doheny, there are some lovely beach front sites. However, when we were there, many of them had a view of the sand berm, so you never really know what you''ll get. The sea is unpredictable, you know. I was pretty happy with our site. We were on the northern end of the campground (#29), along the lagoon. We fell asleep to the sound of a frog chorus and breaking waves in the distance. During the day it was the sound of birds calling. It seemed the quieter side of the campground. I really liked this feature. Go here and you can see a photograph of each site and get sort of an idea of what you're working with.
If you choose a site around the central grass area it is fun for the kids, but you will have a lot of people around your site all the time.
And really, that is the thing about So Cal beach camping. It is crowded, and it is rather loud. There are huge rvs with generators. It isn't remote and there isn't much solitude. But it is really fun. And to get those other things, you go camp in the mountains. And like all Californians like to brag, we can do both pretty easily.
Here are some pics from Day 1.
The views from our site.
We headed to the water right away and got busy creating masterpieces in the sand. We found a lot of fabulous things to decorate our castles with. Isn't that black sea fan beautiful?
The beach was loaded with sea weed and all sorts of other treasures of the sea. We found sea urchins.
We even watched them move around our buckets. I have never seen a sea urchin move and it was pretty amazing to watch.
There were also tiny sea stars. They had long, skinny legs and crawled along the side of the bucket, too. It was so fun to watch.
And of course, there is always the fun of jumping over the waves. It doesn't matter if the sun is hardly shining or the water is cold.
And before bed, you just have to have hot cocoa and marshmallows. My kids still like them on the side. They dip them in the cocoa like a cookie. These are the things memories are made of.
Lots more memories to come. Day 2 is up next.